Friday, December 17, 2004

Recount in Ohio

If you were reading only mass media (or were buried in grading) you'd hardly know it, but all Ohio counties are performing a hand recount of the presidential election votes this week. The recount was initiated by the Cobb and Badnarik campaigns. Here are some links for those looking for more information:
  • There's a summary on Daily Kos of the recount's progress to date, including reports from many counties and some of the problems that have been encountered.

  • has a Daily Update section on their website that is providing, well, daily updates on the recount.

Making things more complicated, there are accusations of fraud/misconduct within the recount itself:
  • David Cobb testified in front of a congressional forum in Ohio that he had a witness who had observed workers from Triad, one of the companies that manufacture voting machines, modifying machines just before the recount.

  • Sherole Eaton, Deputy Director of the Hocking County Board of Elections (the witness Cobb was referring to) has an affidavit describing her experiences, including:
    "He [the Triad company repairman] advised Lisa and I on how to post a "cheat sheet" on the wall so that only the board members and staff would know about it and and what the codes meant so the count would come out perfect and we wouldn't have to do a full hand recount of the county." (more documents related to this)

  • A motion was filed on the 16th of December asking the Ohio Supreme Court to order that voting equipment used in the election not be modified. Included with the motion was testimony that equipment was being modified, including Ms. Eaton's (described above), and an account from Catherine Buchanon that "establishes that the Diebold OptiScan machines were being re-programmed. The re-programming involves deleting information from the memory cards in the central tabulating machine." (from page 3 of the RawStory post)

  • The motion above was dismissed on December 16th (PDF of actual decision), though it appears to have been dismissed for what amounts to a technicality (it contested two elections rather than one), and there are plans to refile it.

  • The state counsel for Kerry/Edwards has sent a letter to Kenneth Blackwell requesting a formal investigation into the Hocking County issues described above.

  • The Green Party is also reporting that many counties appear not to be randomly selecting the 3% of the vote that they initially recount by hand, as they are required to do (e.g. Washington County, scroll down to it, see also Cobb's Daily Update page).

  • And, wrapping things up, the New York Times has an article on the Ohio recount that includes statements from the Triad president discussing some of the events above.

No comments: